I'm not quite sure where to start with this blog post to be honest, do I start right back at the beginning, which was when I was a little girl designing my first dolls house, my grandad built for me, or when I bought The Pink House which was 10 years ago.
You see... when I decided to buy The Pink House, I immediately fell in love with the vision in my head of what I wanted it to look like. I wanted an orchid at the top of the garden and a large open plan kitchen to bake lots of apple and blackberry crumbles. Fast forward 32 years and I have a beautiful open plan kitchen and an orchid where I grow apples and blackberries and much more.
When I designed my first dolls house at the age of 5, I knew instantly what I wanted it to look like. I wanted large roaring fire places in every room to toast marshmallows on, a grand staircase my dolls could walk down in pretty long floating dresses, while everyone watched at the bottom of them and a large kitchen for the grandma to make amazing Sunday roasts, just like my gran did.
When I design a house, especially my own I imagine it as a film set. I envisage the lifestyle I want for myself and go about setting the scene in my head. I could very clearly see myself pottering around in the garden, baking, cooking and entertaining in a beautiful pastel coloured kitchen. I wanted a place to sit quietly and ready my cook books while planning the most fabulous dinner parties for us and our fiends.
I am a big believer that our homes are places we go for escapism and they can and should represent whatever we want them to. Over lockdown the Mr and I have been having date nights in the kitchen at Sixpenny, we meet at 7pm at the island, which is now been named the Carrara bar for a drink and a chat and we pretend we are on a night out at a fancy bar or hotel (it is the greatest form of escapism). It might be silly to some, but for us it is quality time together enjoying the house we have worked so hard to create together.
I recently watched a documentary on Ralph Lauren, if you haven't seen it I would highly reccomend it, it is called Very Ralph. The documentary explores Ralph Lauren's life and family and how he built his extremely successful brands. I could completely relate to his story, he designs fashion and interiors with his dream life in mind and makes his dreams a reality. Ralph Lauren's stores and homes are like stepping onto a film set and are highly influenced by the culture and landscapes around them. The London store looks like an old English quintessential country house, where as the Hampton's store has a sophisticated beach vibe. Very Ralph is definitely worth a watch.
I could completely relate to the way in which ralph lauren designed as I had been doing the exact same thing since the age of 5. My dolls house was a mix of my hopes and dreams for what I wanted from my future home. I knew I wanted a large kitchen that was pretty, yet functional and really organised, everything needed a home that was easily accessible for the task at hand. When I started the process of designing it I looked at functionality, where I needed things to make life easier. That means the cups and tea bags go in the same cupboard above the kettle, which is next to the fridge for the milk.
The pans, plates and cutlery are all in draws next to the cooker and I have a pot filling tap next to the cooker so I don't need to carry heavy pans filled with water cross the kitchen from the sink.
I decant things like rice, pasta, herbs and nuts etc into colour coordinated storage jars from Bodum, not only does it make the cupboard look nice and organised, it stops items from spilling out of the packets once open.
Creating a home you love that can transport you to a place of calm, fun, excitement or relaxation is so important especially during these times. For me The Pink House is a place for slow living which is a lifestyle that emphasises a slower approach to aspects of everyday life. It has been defined as a movement or action at a relaxed and leisurely pace. It is a place I stop and read an interior magazine, bake and create, it brings me balance in a world that feels uncertain.
I love creating magical places for my clients too, I want them to feel that escapism when they walk into their homes. A place that embraces whatever emotion they are feeling, it cocoons them and slowly transports them into a slower, calmer and eventually more energetic lifestyle if that's what they desire.
This year I am hoping to move into the garden at The Pink House and Sixpenny to create some more magic. I have this vision of sitting in a garden room similar to this one at The Pig Hotel in Canterbury enjoying breakfast as the sun comes up surrounded by sweet peas, so watch this space.